Traditional Korean papermaking : history, techniques and materials

Yum, Hyejung (2008) Traditional Korean papermaking : history, techniques and materials. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

PDF (PhD thesis)

Download (23MB) | Preview


This study investigated the history of traditional Korean papermaking within its historical context: the relationship with the development of papermaking techniques in neighbouring countries were examined though primary focus was given to the development of materials and tools used. In order to understand the characteristics of historical Korean paper and the development of tools and materials used over time, surveys on Korean and Japanese collections at the British Library and a private Korean collection were carried out. Korean objects dated between the 12th and the 18th century were examined. The data collected from the surveys was compiled in a database and analysed. The data analysis revealed that the thickness of paper was closely related to the thickness of bamboo splints used in manufacture of papermaking screens. Research also included a summary of morphological characteristics and photomicrographs of fibres from nine indigenous plants which were used for traditional Korean papermaking. These standard fibre samples were used as reference to identify the fibres of unknown paper objects surveyed. This fibre identification confirmed the main material to be paper mulberry and, additionally, provided information on supplementary materials including rice straw, reed, hemp, and mechanical wood pulp of coniferous origin — a material that has not been recognised as one of the common supplementary materials in previous studies. In order to provide a better understanding of the materials and tools used in traditional papermaking in Korea, three papermaking experiments were carried out. Firstly, a papermaking experiment was conducted using a mucilaginous substance derived from the roots of Hibiscus Manihot, which has been employed as a formation aid for considerable time in Korea and Japan. Paper samples were then analysed to investigate the physical influence of the substance on the sample sheets. Secondly, a fixed laid screen was designed and sheets were produced using it. The intention here was to support a hypothesis which was proposed by the author in order to explain a possible chronological development of papermaking mould structure in China and its potential spread to neighbouring countries. The last experiment was conducted to simulate a technique of papermaking with reclaimed paper. Although the use of reclaimed paper was recorded in early literature, details of the process were unknown.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Paper, paper mulberry, papermaking, Korea
Subjects: C900 Others in Biological Sciences
T400 Other Asian studies
V900 Others in Historical and Philosophical studies
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Applied Sciences
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Related URLs:
Depositing User: EPrint Services
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2010 12:44
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2023 13:32

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics